Friday, February 7, 2014

Alma 36:6-9

"For I went about with the sons of Mosiah, seeking to destroy the church of God; but behold, God sent his holy angel to stop us by the way.
And behold, he spake unto us, as it were the voice of thunder, and the whole earth did tremble beneath our feet; and we all fell to the earth, for the fear of the Lord came upon us.
But behold, the voice said unto me: Arise. And I arose and stood up, and beheld the angel.
And he said unto me: If thou wilt of thyself be destroyed, seek no more to destroy the church of God."
Alma 36:6-9

This is Alma talking to his son Helaman, and telling him how he came to believe in God.  He had rebelled against his father and fought against the church, and now here he is, talking to his own son, not wanting him to do the same, and he tells him, listen to me... I've tried the rebellious path.  I was in a bad group, and I've done some really bad things... and one day I realized, in a very dramatic way, that what I was doing was wrong, and that it wasn't going to lead me to happiness.
I think a similar realization happens to many of us.  It might not be quite as dramatic as Alma's experience, and it might not be about the exact same thing, but I think God reminds us in ways that are dramatic to us that we need to change.  ... That we're setting ourselves up for destruction, or pain, or suffering.  God wants to spare us that, and he asks us to turn around.
Alma changed everything because of this.  He did turn around.  He worked the rest of his life to support and build up the church rather than destroying it.  It wasn't easy for him, I'm certain.  Can you imagine going back into the same places and talking to the same people after you had just made such a turnaround in your life?  It was tough.  It is tough for us... we dig the pit and carve away at the cliff for years, and then carefully and laboriously set up all the thorns and spikes at exactly the right angle for maximum damage, and then finally, right as we are about to jump in, God says... hey, wake up.  That is going to really hurt you, no matter how exciting the fall.  And we look down, realize he is right, and still consider it.  It might be the roller skates, the bungee cord that is only mostly frayed, or the confidence of the half-broken hang gliding equipment on our backs, but something makes us still want to take the plunge... the thrill is worth the pain, right?
... But, no, it isn't.  Whatever the thrill or the supposed goal that we have in mind, God is trying to save us from self-destruction.  Today, let's please listen to him, and turn around, and find something better to do, far away from the cliff.  He loves us.  Let's try to love ourselves, and be safe... and listen as God talks us down, and then offers us some better alternatives. :)


  1. What in the heck is the book of Alma, and Helaman and you know what... Moroni! I understand the rest, but I don't think those are actual books.

  2. Great question. The books you mention are books in the Book of Mormon. This blog covers a lot of scriptural books, so you might see things that you aren't familiar with if you are only familiar with the books of the Bible.


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